Just when you thought Seamless and GrubHub had tag-teamed their way to food ordering supremacy, Square is reportedly testing the waters with a new app called Square Pickup.
The app, first spotted in the wilds of San Francisco by Priceonomics, lets you place an order at a participating restaurant, pay, then pick up your food when it's ready. It's not exactly as convenient as GrubHub Seamless, which has drivers bring the food directly to your door, but the app does have an advantage in that Square already has an in with merchants who use the Square Reader mobile payment plug-in or the Square Register point-of-sale system. Adding Square Pickup to the roster seems like a no-brainer.
Priceonomics noted that Square Pickup is being tested at restaurants near Square's headquarters in downtown San Francisco, and it's unclear when Square will roll out the app to a wider audience. Will Square test Pickup at grocery stores and coffee shops, too? Its partnerships with Whole Foods and Starbucks could lead to quicker produce and coffee runs.
Square's move into food seems like such an obvious choice that it seems a little strange that the company didn't offer Pickup to restaurants before now. The company already let customers pay with their smartphones using the Square Wallet app--placing an order is a natural extension. If Square had gotten into the mobile ordering game shortly after dominating mobile payments, it would've had an easier time challenging Seamless and GrubHub. As it stands, Square might have some difficulty convincing restaurants who already use competing apps to add Pickup as an option, or whether Pickup has much to offer without a delivery service.
Although if you would do just about anything to avoid the lines at trendy San Francisco lunch spots--Darwin, I'm looking at you--Pickup may be just the ticket.